6 Tips on How to Decline a Job Offer You Already Accepted

Let’s talk about 6 helpful tips that will get you through the process with your dignity and reputation intact.

Phil from 4 day week

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Finally! After months of job hunting, you have an offer on the table for a software development job. You quickly accept it. You’re excited, and ready to get to work!

Only… a couple of days later, you receive an even better offer from another company — one with better benefits, better pay, and (frankly) a better culture fit. In fact, this other job looks like your dream job. What should you do?

As that scenario nicely illustrates, things can change quickly. It could be a new job offer; it could be a family emergency that’s just come up; or it could be the realization that the job you just accepted really isn’t right for you. Whatever the case may be, the question naturally arises: If you need to decline a job offer you already accepted, how should you go about it?

Let’s talk about 6 helpful tips that will get you through the process with your dignity and reputation intact.

Tip #1: Make Sure This is What You Want

First and foremost, you should be absolutely sure that you really want to decline the job offer. If you’re not certain either way, then take some time to come to a definite conclusion. Once you decline an offer you’ve already accepted, that bridge is burned — there’s no going back.

Once you’ve determined that you really do want to step away from the job, the next thing you need to consider is if you’re willing to live with the consequences of your decision. Granted, if you haven’t yet signed a contract of employment with the company, then you’re not under any legal obligation to stick around. However, if you have signed a contract, then you need to pore over it carefully to find any legal ramifications from immediately quitting your job.

Some employment contracts are “at will” agreements, meaning you and the employer can part ways at any time. Others offer a small “grace period” in which you can back out of a job without any repercussions. Still others stipulate that you must give advance notice before quitting — usually (but not always) 2 weeks.

The bottom line? Make sure you can live with your decision before you cut the cord.

Tip #2: Don’t Wait to…

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